Statement against Caste-based Discrimination: Swami Paramanand Giriji Maharaj, Spiritual Head, Akhand Paramdham
Acharaya Mahamandaleshwar Yug Purush Shri Swami Parmanand Ji Giri Maharaj recevied sanyas diksha from revered Swami Akhandanand Ji Maharaj from Chitrakoot in 1956 after completing secondary education. Today in India and abroad, hundreds of thousands of people have recognized him as a Vedant scholar and enlightened being. Aside from his spiritual teachings Maharaj Ji fosters numerous social projects through the non-profit organization Akhand Paramdham (APD). His vast array of social projects include residential programs for underprivileged children and those who are physically and/or mentally challenged, 13 hospitals that serve those in need, 15 schools, colleges and universities which are mostly in remote areas. Entire villages that are alternatives to orphanages, women's shelters and old age homes are in successful operation and are being implemented in every state in India. These are but a few of the many programs APD is operating that uplift those in need.
The organization provides programs to support those who are on a dedicated spiritual path, so that they may truly awaken. His premise is that once we are awake it is natural to assist others in need. Swami Paramanand Ji says that unless someone has their basic needs taken care of it is difficult to focus on one's spiritual development. Today he has hundreds of thousands of devotees around the world. Over 100 books have been written about his teachings and techniques and 25 have been translated in other languages. 40 ashrams in India and abroad have also been established to assist those on a spiritual path.
We should meet and be able to live with all human beings. We need to give special training to those who are socially deprived in our community. I preach and believe that clay is same in all pots irrespective of their shapes and colors. This is what we need to understand. The Gita, Upanishads and many other scriptural references are available to support the above.
Varnaashrama system accepts that an individual may belong to a specific Varna by birth because one can learn the necessary knowledge from ones parents and family. Varnaasrama system also accepts that one can choose to belong to a specific Varna by ones own choice and put effort to learn the required skills and knowledge. Today science has proven that peoples genes make them inclined to acquire a specific nature. But this can change depending on the person’s education, environment and spiritual practices. One's developed inclinations can be totally opposite than their families. The parents genes do not necessarily mean that a child will be ruled by those genes. Day by day our Varnaashrama system is going corrupt because of ego. Many do not want to accept what the system was originally made for. Due to ego some people do not want to do what they have the ability to do and they go to another caste for self esteem. One day this system will collapse.
There are many examples of people who have changed their ways i.e.: pandit to shudra and visa versa. According to the Upanishads in the story of Satyakam, he went to a rishi who asked him about his caste & inquired as to who his father was. Satyakam said he really didn't know but would ask his mother because he did not know who his father was. His mother told him she had a lot of sexual relationships with many men so she did not know who his father was, so he went back to the rishi and told him what his mother had said. The rishi said, "You are speaking the truth therefore you are Brahman and are able to know Brahmn Gyan and I accept you as a shishya.” In another story a man goes into the army and gets selected as a soldier. He was asked what his caste was and if he was a Kshatriya, he was told only he would only be accepted if he was of the warrior cast. So to prove he was he shot himself. The Gita says that caste is not defined only by birth. It is necessary to take into consideration a persons nature.
There are many examples of misuse of the caste system. For example, in Australia there are only 1 crore people but they are doing very good in cricket as the team players are chosen on ability. In India however there are over 100 crore of people but we have fewer that play well. Why is this? Because here there is so much corruption. People are transferred to the wrong caste due to their ego problems. Some people think they will get more happiness by being in another caste but it may not be suitable for them and they may not have the full potential for that. In foreign countries, participation in big sports competitions is dependent on ability.